Holly and Chris are a couple who met through work and decided to get married in Las Vegas because they wanted “a place our guests would remember,” in addition to their wedding. Their wedding day looked like an absolute blast, from the sweet first looks Holly had with her dad and her husband-to-be, to the retro-Vegas shots at the Fun City “pink” Motel which coincidentally matched their wedding palette! Blush pink and gold created a modern, airy and fresh atmosphere at both their ballroom ceremony at Mandarin Oriental and the reception that followed at Joe’s Stone Crab. Simply gorgeous.
WHY LAS VEGAS?
I was born and raised in southern California and Chris was born and raised in central Illinois. We both met while serving in the Marine Corps together and just decided Vegas would be a great place for everyone to travel to instead of one of our hometowns. Vegas is so fun and completely different from any city we have been to. We wanted a place our guests would remember … including our wedding!
CHOOSING THE VENUES
I knew I didn’t want anything cheesy. I didn’t want a chapel ceremony or outdoor since it’s so hot in Vegas. I wanted something elegant and classy. I felt that Mandarin Oriental and Joe’s Stone Crab provided that. The process wasn’t easy though. I researched and researched to find the perfect location!
THE CEREMONY — Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas
The ceremony was very romantic! It was a basic room but Mandarin is so beautiful that it didn’t need many decorations. I did have blush uplighting which made the room pop! It was so pretty and flirty. I personally chose all the music myself. Chris and I love music and I knew I wanted something different and unique.
THE RECEPTION — Gigi Room at Joe’s Stone Crab, Caesars Palace
My theme was vintage classic. Not shabby chic vintage, but more Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe. The Gigi room is so romantic and classy! I wanted all my guess to feel special. We only had 35 close friends and family there so we knew the Gigi room would be perfect for that. We also had blush uplighting which changed colors once dancing started. We also had beautiful centerpieces, a wonderful cake and a DJ.
WEDDING DAY CHALLENGES
I felt that everything went smoothly! I knew little things would go wrong but nothing extreme. I think all brides should know that a big event like a wedding won’t be perfect and it’s fine if it’s not. It’s about getting married in front of your best friends and loved ones. The only complaint that I really have is the heat but we knew there was nothing we could do about that, especially since it was the middle of July! We couldn’t take that many pictures outside so we went into a lot of hotel lobbies and in the shaded areas for pictures.
LAS VEGAS WEDDING TIPS FROM HOLLY + CHRIS
Just to do your research. I felt that looking at blogs, websites, TV shows and anything about Vegas helped me with the wedding. I knew where to book hotels, limos, flowers, cake and everything else from the web. We did make a trip about a year before the wedding to look at possible venues which I think made a world if difference. Everything looks different in person!
GUESTCOUNT + BUDGET
We planned on a very small wedding of about 20, but it grew to about 45. In the end 35 guests were able to join us, which was the perfect amount! I didn’t really have a budget in mind I just knew I didn’t want to go overboard and worked with a 10k budget. However that jumped to 16k, which was fine with us. That covered everything from my dress, plane tickets, flowers, an amazing dinner service and everything in between. I knew it was money well spent because my guest couldn’t stop talking about the food!! The only splurge I had was the ceremony flowers that I ordered through Mandarin Oriental but they were so big and beautiful!
VENDOR + VENUE DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHER . Unposed Photography
CEREMONY VENUE . Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas
RECEPTION VENUE . Gigi Room at Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab
OFFICIANT . Rev. William McFarland III / DAY OF COORDINATION . Archel Rowling Events / FLORAL . The Palette / Ceremony Flowers: Mandarin Oriental / CAKE . Hott Cakez / BRIDAL FASHION . dress – David Tutera, Frew’s Bridal / HAIR + MAKEUP . Stevee Danielle / BRIDESMAIDS . Frew’s Bridal / TRANSPORTATION . Las Vegas Limo / STATIONERY + PAPER GOODS . Champagne Press / ENTERTAINMENT + LIGHTING . Bliss Entertainment
Mixing the fun and frivolous side of Las Vegas with a modern, luxury venue is one of the best things about having a wedding in Las Vegas. For fun-loving couple Seth and Kaitlyn, this combination turned out to be perfect! This pair road tripped from the northeastern United States to Vegas for their wedding with their travel companion Harry, a Chinese Crested, and a car full of DIY’d details and decor. Everything else came from an array of some of the city’s top vendors: images by Meg Ruth Photo, LED Unplugged for that amazing marquee LOVE sign and floral, and Kaitlyn’s whimsical feather and succulent-filled bouquet from Layers of Lovely. And don’t forget the Elvis officiate!
A day filled with love, laughs (doesn’t Kaitlyn look like she’s having the time of her life in every single photo?) with friends and family capped off this vintage glam wedding day for this couple.
Why a Las Vegas wedding?
Las Vegas was our first vacation together when we first began dating over 5 years ago. We just love everything about Las Vegas. There’s something for everyone, and the same goes for when you choose to have a wedding in this city. Seth and I wanted a very intimate get together with just family and close friends. We wanted our day to feel more like a party than a wedding. We just wanted to have fun- it’s Vegas! However, we also wanted to showcase our relationship and have a ceremony/ reception that really embodied our friendship, love, and individual personalities. The Mandarin was both elegant, yet fun; modern yet had remnants of Old Vegas. We fell in love with the venue. We also knew that we needed to have our dog, Harry, involved in some part of the day. We were incredibly excited when we found out the Mandarin Oriental allowed dogs! That was the deciding factor. So, we packed up the car with all our DIY decor and road tripped it from Massachusetts to Las Vegas so our pup Harry could come along for the ride! We made a vacation/ honeymoon out of this entire trip. It was incredibly romantic to drive across the country, just us, knowing that the end result would be our marriage!
Kaitlyn’s favorite memory
Seeing Seth standing at the aisle with our little dog, Harry, dressed in his Elvis suit. Harry looked so adorable and he was such a good boy! I couldn’t stop laughing!
The Ceremony – Ballroom at Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas
We wanted a fun ceremony, nothing serious. After all, a wedding is supposed to be a celebration! And we knew, if we had a wedding in Vegas, we needed to have an Elvis officiate! Travis is so incredibly talented. He sang 4 Elvis renditions: “The Wonder of You”, “Love Me Tender”, “Can’t Help Falling in Love”, and “Viva Las Vegas”! Our ceremony was quick, sweet, and fun-loving! Guests have told us they have never laughed so hard at a wedding in all their lives!
DIY Details + Decor
I hand wrote all the chalkboard signs: the menu, guestbook signs, and seating charts. We made our escort cards out of playing cards correlating to the table numbers and placed silver labels with each guests’s name on each card. We also wanted to pay a tribute to our amazing grandparents (all but one are now deceased) so we made a table with vintage gold framed photos from all of our grandparents’ weddings. It gave a personal touch to the whole wedding, and everyone really enjoyed viewing the gorgeous black & white photos of our loved ones. I purchased many of the frames and small decor items at vintage shops. We also made adorable welcome bags filled with bloody mary fixings, snacks, a travel guide, Vegas magnet, and transit schedule to assist guests in exploring the city. We dropped these off at guests’ hotels when we first arrived in Vegas. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitor’s Authority was incredibly helpful with sending us free maps, travel guides, and show schedules to help fill our welcome bags!
The Reception – Ballroom at Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas
The Mandarin Oriental’s ballroom is absolutely breathtaking. When you enter, you are taken aback by the wall to wall windows providing an exceptional view of the strip. That, in and of itself, was decor enough. But we also wanted to play on those incredible Vegas lights with bright pops of color in the flowers, linens, and lighting. We wanted our reception to be reminiscent of Old Vegas: a bit of a vintage glam vibe. My favorite part of the reception decor was the huge marquee lights spelling “L-O-V-E”. Just beautiful! Our reception naturally turned into a great dance party fairly quickly, and our DJ was so awesome: he even passed the microphone over to me to do a rendition of the Little Mermaid (Seth, myself, and the bridal party guests had a wild night at Dino’s singing karaoke the Thursday before our wedding)! We also purchased our own props for all our guests to wear during our dance party: Elvis sunglasses with sideburns, Stunner shades, and Groucho Marx glasses- A Must! A total party!
Seth + Kaitlyn’s Vegas wedding tips
HAVE FUN!! Just remember, you are getting the best of the best when it comes to vendors in this town. This is the wedding capital of the world! Keep reminding yourselves that these people know what they’re doing! I’m a bit of a control freak, so it was hard for me to give up all the reigns, but these vendors are literally professionals. I had so much fun planning this destination wedding. It doesn’t matter what your budget is: this town has something for everyone. Shop around and email vendors. Ask them as many questions as you can, and when you find a right fit, you will know. It was such a pleasure to work with everyone- I’m so glad I planned this wedding in the age of email – it really made planning from a distance so easy!
Seth + Kaitlyn’s Wedding Guestcount and Budget
Originally we had invited about 180 guests, but due to it being a destination wedding, we only ended up with 50 guests, which was actually perfect. It made the evening very intimate yet fun. We were able to visit with everyone and still had a chance to dance and enjoy ourselves. My parents were incredibly gracious and helped us pay for everything. The total spent was about $40,000.
VENUE + VENDOR DETAILS :
PHOTOGRAPHY . Meg Ruth Photo
CEREMONY + RECEPTION VENUE . Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas
OFFICIANT . Elvis aka Travis Allen of Tallen Productions / WEDDING PLANNER . day of coordination provided by Scheme Events / FLORAL . Layers of Lovely / CAKE . Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas / BRIDAL FASHION . dress – Sloan by Sottero & Midgley, jewelry – Sarah White Jewelry / BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES . Radical Thread Co. / HAIR AND MAKEUP . Amelia C & Co. / GROOM’S WEAR . Men’s Wearhouse / TRANSPORTATION . AWG Ambassador Limos / RENTALS . furniture + linens – Layers of Lovely / LIGHTING + LOVE MARQUEE SIGN . LED Unplugged / STATIONERY . Minted / ENTERTAINMENT . DJ Mike Fox
If you are getting married in a chapel, and are on the fence over whether or not you should hire an extra photographer outside the chapel’s package, look no further than this post as to the reasons why you should!
Isaac Wu Photography followed Colorado transplants Tiffany and Gavin around Las Vegas as they primped and primed before their wedding at Mandarin Oriental. But he also got some great group portraits on the Strip, downtown in Fremont and captured the spirt of this cool, calm and collected couple who were married by Elvis as witnessed by six of their closest friends.
More from their photographer, Isaac:
After roaming around the various floors in the hotel, we took over the Las Vegas Strip. Being that this couple met while living in New York, it only made sense to hit the mini-Brooklyn Bridge at the New York-New York casino and of course Elmo and Bert decided to drop on in to celebrate the occasion. We then decided to hit downtown or the “old” Vegas, which is always bound to bring a few surprises (which it did). The Fremont Street Experience (the “experience” part is accurately named) is full of life, colors, lights, and apparently that’s where you can also find a scantily clad blonde devil along with a younger and shorter Elvis.
Indeed they did…
The color of the day was blue, as worn by the bridesmaids, Tiffany’s manicure and even their officiant. I wonder if he wore blue suede shoes, too..? Tiffany’s ultra modern, funky trapeze style dress came from AllSaints – there is a location in Cosmopolitan! (I’m always lusting after the leather there…)
Totally fabulous, totally modern and totally unforgettable – that’s a Las Vegas elopement for you!
Vendor and Venue Details:
Photographer: Isaac Wu Photography / Wedding Venue: Graceland Wedding Chapel / Wedding Dress: AllSaints Spitalfields ‘White Parchute Dress’ / Hair + Makeup: The Spa at Mandarin Oriental / Bride’s Shoes: Vince Camuto / Groom’s Suit + Menswear: Thick As Thieves / Groom’s Shoes: Johnston & Murphy / Cake: Freed’s Bakery
Lisa and Sean travelled from the east coast for their private, very contemporary destination Las Vegas ceremony and cocktail reception. Photographed by Ron Dillon, this couple chose the very modern (yet very cozy) setting of the Mandarin Bar on the 23rd floor of the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas to host both their vows and a post-ceremony cocktail reception. Boasting spectacular views both day and night through floor to ceiling windows, this is a fabulous space to be married in!
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Party on the rooftop and dance the night away at your reception with a clear view of the lights and action of the one and only Las Vegas Strip: let’s talk rooftop weddings in Las Vegas!
When I first started to compose this post, I truly believed there were just a handful of venues that would allow you to host a Vegas wedding with a birds eye view of the city. Truth of the matter is, there are dozens of them, suitable for every size and budget, and scattered across the city with a variety of views.
These venues allow for indoor and outdoor rooftop, patio and sometimes even poolside weddings and receptions.
Of course, if you are afraid of heights a wedding in the sky may not be the best choice, but sweeping views of the lights of the Strip and a complete feeling of being on top of the world combines for an absolutely unforgettable experience for your wedding. And maybe you can conquer those fears…
Unless otherwise specified, most of these venues offer combined indoor and open air, outdoor spaces, and are available for ceremonies or receptions – or both!
Alexis Park Resort: A hotel with a rooftop space that makes up for elevation with its sheer size and views of the nearby Strip
Venue: Parthenon Rooftop Terrace | On Floor: 2 | Best for: Ceremonies and Receptions | Capacity: 1,000
Binion’s: A historic downtown hotel with a newly revamped and reopened rooftop pool area with views of downtown Vegas and the surrounding mountains
Venue: Binion’s Rooftop Pool Deck | On Floor: 25 | Capacity: 150 guests | Best for: Ceremony and Receptions | Downtown
East Side Cannery: This former skybar space at an off Strip hotel in east Vegas is now a dedicated event venue, offering expansive views of the Strip and mountains
Venue: One Six Sky Lounge | On Floor: 16 | Indoors | Capacity: 200 guests | Off-Strip
Hard Rock Cafe Las Vegas: On Strip and ready to rock, the Hard Rock Cafe offers a selection of indoor and outdoor venues, but the 2nd and 3rd floor patios are most alluring, just a few floors above the bustling Strip
Venues: 2nd and 3rd floor patios | Best for: Ceremonies and Receptions | Capacity: 45-65 guests | On Strip
JW Marriott Las Vegas: Although this off Strip resort may not seem to offer the best views, I’m told the views of Vegas and the glittering Strip lights from this suite are actually really beautiful
Venue: Suite 6200 | On Floor: 6 | Best for: Ceremonies and Receptions | Capacity: 30-50 guests | Off-Strip
M Resort: In south Las Vegas, this venue on the top of new-ish but very stylish M Resort show off the Strip and desert landscape
Venue: LUX Event Space | On Floor: 12 | Indoors | Capacity: 50-200 guests | Off-Strip
Mandarin Oriental: Be surrounded by the fantastic modern architecture of City Center while nestled in the serene pool side space at the Mandarin
Venue: Pool deck | On Floor: 8 | Capacity: 150 guests | Best for: Ceremony and Receptions | On Strip
Mandalay Bay: Mix has long been a favorite venue to have a cocktail and look up the Strip, so why not make it your wedding venue?
Venue: Mix lounge and restaurant | On Floor: 64 | Best for: Ceremonies and Receptions | On Strip
Mandalay Bay: The House of Blues runs this private club at the top of a Mandalay Bay tower with amazing views of the Strip
Venue: House of Blues Foundation Room | On Floor: 43 | Capacity: 100 guests | Best for: Ceremonies and Receptions | On Strip
Palms: Although fully outfitted with new decor and design, ghostbar still boasts extraordinary views from its skydeck, as does Moon nightclub.
Venues: ghostbar, Moon Nightclub | On Floor: 55 and 53 | Capacity: 75 on ghostbar sky deck, 170 indoors at ghostbar | Best for: Ceremonies. Receptions are possible, but are subject to restricted hours | Off Strip
Platinum Las Vegas: Just east of the Strip, Platinum’s view paints the sky with neon as the sun goes down from its two separate venues with a view
Venues: Kil@wat Restaurant and Pooldeck, Misora Room and Rooftop Terrace | On Floor: 17 | Best for: Ceremonies and Receptions | Capacity: 80-120 | Off Strip
Plaza: In the heart of downtown, the Plaza rooftop is just a few floors above the madness of Fremont Street, adding to that crazy Vegas wedding feeling
Venue: Plaza Hotel Rooftop Pooldeck | On Floor: 5/7 (depends which tower) | Best for: Ceremonies and Receptions | Capacity: 45-65 guests | Downtown
Red Rock Casino: Closer to Red Rock Canyon, Red Rock’s venues show off the gorgeous mountains nearby
Venues: Pavilion Terrace, Terrace and Veranda AB, DE, C and F Terraces | On Floor: 5 | Best for: Ceremonies and Receptions | Capacity: 30-200 | Off Strip
Rio: Another favorite spot for drinks, VooDoo lounge will also host weddings with the Las Vegas Strip skyline in the background
Venue: VooDoo Lounge | On Floor: 51 | Capacity: 75 guests | Best for: Ceremonies, only between 10am and 2pm | Off-Strip
Riviera: The penthouse level Top of the Riv has incredible views of the north Strip from its glassed in ballroom
Venue: Top of the Riv Ballroom | On Floor: 23 | Indoors | Capacity: 550 guests | On Strip
Stratosphere: Stratosphere is the tallest building in Las Vegas, so you know the views are going to be spectacular. Get married indoors or outdoors here, depending on your ability to deal with wind
Venue: Chapel in the Clouds | On Floors: 103 and 104 | Capacity: 95 guests | Indoors | Best for: Ceremonies and Receptions | On Strip
Stratosphere | Venue: Observation Deck | On Floors: 108, 109 and 112 | Capacity: 1,000 guests | Best for: Ceremonies and Receptions | On Strip
World Market Center: Located just a little bit off the Strip, this modern building hosts a very modern sky garden and terrace as well, perfect for weddings and functions, with views of the mountains, Strip and downtown Las Vegas
Venues: WorldView on Sixteen and SkyView Terrace | On Floor: 16 | Best for: Ceremonies and Receptions | Capacity: WorldView’s is 525, SkyView is 468 | Off Strip